BBC has just announced that James Newman will represent the United Kingdom in Rotterdam. The artist will perform the song ‘My Last Breath‘ at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
The song was released earlier this morning by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 and will get its international release on the official Eurovision YouTube channel at 11.00 CET.
James is a multi-platinum selling, Brit Award winning and Grammy nominated songwriter, having won a Brit for British Single of the Year for ‘Waiting All Night’ performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre.
James grew up in Settle in the Yorkshire Dales with younger brother John Newman, who is also a successful recording artist. At 18, James moved to Newcastle to study a HND in Popular Music. A few years later success came knocking as James met his now friend and then work colleague Sophie, whose brother had just started a band called Rudimental. Which little did he know at the time, would be the key to James’ breakthrough.
Through this connection, Rudimental met James’ brother John, who with Rudimental wrote the UK Number 1 single ‘Feel The Love’. After seeing the success of ‘Feel The Love’ James was spurred on to write something of his own after seeing his brother’s success.
It wasn’t long before James wrote ‘Waiting All Night’, which he sent to Rudimental and became a Number 1 hit in the UK. It was James’ first success as a songwriter and it also earned him a Brit Award in 2014 for ‘British Single of the Year’. He went from working 50 hours a week in a restaurant to having a Number 1 single and landing a publishing deal in the same week.
James’ life changed overnight. From the success of ‘Waiting All Night’ he was able to become a full time songwriter. It wasn’t long before he was able to write another UK Number 1 single, this time for Calvin Harris ft. John Newman called ‘Blame’. The song topped the charts in several countries including The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Mexico.
James has worked with many famous artists over the years including friend Ed Sheeran, who recorded the vocals on his track ‘Lay It All On Me’ which was certified platinum in both the UK and the US. As well as UK success, James has also been Grammy nominated twice, co-writing ‘Coping’ from Toni Braxton’s album Sex & Cigarettes and ‘Let ‘Em Talk’ from Kesha’s album Rainbow.
James has always wanted to be an artist in his own right and after writing so many hits for other artists is now to launch his own solo material. James has already been a featured vocalist on many successful songs – his biggest hit came in 2018 when he collaborated with acclaimed Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren. Their song ‘Therapy’ was a big hit in Europe and reached number 4 on the Dutch Top 40 chart.
It was during discussions with BMG about an artist deal when James was asked about Eurovision and thought it was the perfect opportunity to reach a European audience, where he is aware that acts like Dua Lipa and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man first had their own success.
James says when he started writing songs for Eurovision 2020 some of the biggest songwriters in the world that he’s previously worked with were keen to get involved and have been a big support. He recorded ‘My Last Breath’ in Scotland while he was staying on a loch with fellow songwriters, Ed Drewett, Iain James and Adam Argyle. He knew My Last Breath was ‘the one’ after first recording it, as he loved the simplicity of the song and feels like it “gets you straight away”.
In September 2019, BBC announced a “brand new collaboration between BBC Studios and music company BMG in order to find a song and artist(s) to represent the United Kingdom in next year’s contest.”
The broadcaster approached some record labels seeking ideas to select the next Eurovision act, one with an international appeal. As a result, the BBC was working with top label BMG for months to select their potential entry for Rotterdam.
Source : BBC